Now it just means you’re president.
“ObamaCare’s implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty. …
“Keep in mind that the White House argued at the Supreme Court that the individual mandate to buy insurance was indispensable to the law’s success, and President Obama continues to say he’d veto the bipartisan bills that would delay or repeal it. So why are ObamaCare liberals silently gutting their own creation now?
“The answers are the implementation fiasco and politics. HHS revealed Tuesday that only 940,000 people signed up for an ObamaCare plan in February, bringing the total to about 4.2 million, well below the original 5.7 million projection. The predicted “surge” of young beneficiaries isn’t materializing even as the end-of-March deadline approaches, and enrollment decelerated in February.
“Meanwhile, a McKinsey & Company survey reports that a mere 27% of people joining the exchanges were previously uninsured through February. The survey also found that about half of people who shopped for a plan but did not enroll said premiums were too expensive, even though 80% of this group qualify for subsidies. Some substantial share of the people ObamaCare is supposed to help say it is a bad financial value. You might even call it a hardship.” —Wall Street Journal editorial, ObamaCare’s Secret Mandate Exemption
“The third of Barack Obama’s Big Lies, after ‘you can keep your plan’ and ‘you can keep your doctor,’ was his promise that Americans would save quite a bit of money on insurance under ObamaCare. In fact, he spoke of families saving a cool $2500 a year. As with all socialist redistribution schemes, there are some people doing better under the Affordable Care Act… but most of us are not, and quite a few Americans are reeling from incredible premium hikes, followed up by enormous deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs if they actually try to use their benefits.
“And it’s going to get worse. A lot worse. You have scarcely begun to pay for Obama’s folly, America.The horror stories keep piling up, faster than Democrats can scream they’re all a bunch of liars. …
“It’s too bad we’ve already wasted so much time and effort on Obama’s Big Government boondoggle, because that’s money and energy we could have put toward developing real solutions to the problems with health insurance, circa 2008. Instead, we have a whole new batch of problems, and a large number of people who never did anything wrong – people who ‘worked hard and played by the rules,’ according to one of President Obama’s favorite phrases – have been made to suffer unnecessarily. The money wasted on the federal and state ObamaCare exchanges alone could have done a lot of good, if invested wisely into actual medicine.” —John Hayward, ObamaCare Sticker Shock: Get Ready for Your Jacked-Up Premiums to Double, or Even Triple
“When Walter Cronkite, the gray eminence of television news and once a fan of the Vietnam War, turned against it, Lyndon Johnson threw up his hands. ‘If I’ve lost Cronkite,’ he told an aide, ‘I’ve lost America.’
“There is no gray eminence any longer in television news — who needs one when you’ve got Megyn Kelly — but there is that creepy-crawly thing that goes up and down Chris Matthews’ leg (the left one, probably) to give him a cheap thrill when he thinks of Barack Obama. But now the thrill is gone. Chris now concedes the Senate to the Republicans.
“It’s true that things don’t look great for the Democrats. It’s still early, and the Republicans have a gift for putting up goofy candidates who say foolish things. But the pungent odor of defeat hangs heavy over President Obama and the White House and Democratic incumbents in the House dread his getting anywhere near their districts between now and November.
“It’s usually impolitic to say this about a president of your own party, but the embattled incumbents, and that includes most of them, are trying now to invent clever ways to say, ‘Obama who?’” —Wesley Pruden, Midterms Favor GOP as Democrats Flee Obama
“A national union that represents 300,000 low-wage hospitality workers charges in a new report that Obamacare will slam wages, cut hours, limit access to health insurance and worsen the very ‘income equality’ President Obama says he is campaigning to fix.
“Unite Here warned that due to Obamacare’s much higher costs for health insurance than what union workers currently pay, the result will be a pay cut of up to $5 an hour. ‘If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage,’ said the union in a new report.
“‘Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality,’ said the report from Unite Here. ‘Without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage,’ said the report, titled, ‘The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse.’” —Paul Bedard, Union Says ObamaCare Will Slash Wages by up to $5 an Hour
“A new survey from McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that has been conducting monthly assessments of the exchange-eligible population, reveals that the White House’s numbers regarding people who have gained healthcare coverage are pure fiction. The survey notes that not everyone who has selected a plan has actually paid the premiums required to truly be counted as covered, and that only a small percentage of people enrolled on the exchanges were previously uninsured. …
“In February, 2,096 eligible respondents were surveyed. Only 48 percent of them had signed up for a 2014 healthcare plan, and three-fifths of that 48 percent were people who liked, and were able to keep, their old plans. The other two-fifths were the ones who enrolled on the exchanges. Regarding the latter group, 27 percent of them had been uninsured in 2013, and almost half of the 27 percent still hadn’t paid a premium. Of the remaining 73 percent who had been previously insured, 86 percent of them had paid their premiums.
“When the percentages are combined, a far more accurate picture emerges. Only 19 percent of those who had paid their premiums were previously insured, and of those the Obama administration is characterizing as sign-ups, only 14 percent are enrollees who were previously uninsured. Thus, despite the administration boasts about 3.3 million ‘gaining’ healthcare coverage, only 472,000 are previously uninsured exchange enrollees as of February 1.
“Far more important, McKinsey & Company’s survey then inquired why those who didn’t sign up for a healthcare plan avoided doing so. Out of the five possible reasons for people failing to enroll, 50 percent chose, ‘I could not afford to pay the premium.’ In second place, 31 percent cited the technical difficulties of enrolling. …
“Thus, the central premise of ObamaCare, the heavily promoted notion that leaving millions of Americans unable to afford health insurance was a national disgrace, is revealed to be an utter fraud.” —Arnold Ahlert, The Parade of ObamaCare Lies Marches On
“I have stated in the past that Obamacare is the worst thing to occur in our country since slavery. Why did I make such a strong statement? Obviously, I recognize the horrors of slavery. My roots have been traced back to Africa, and I am aware of some horrendous deeds inflicted on my ancestors in this country. The purpose of the statement was not to minimize the most evil institution in American history, but rather to draw attention to a profound shift of power from the people to the government.
“I think this shift is beginning to wrench the nation from one centered on the rights of individual citizens to one that accepts the right of the government to control even the most essential parts of our lives. This strikes a serious blow to the concept of freedom that gave birth to this nation.
“Some well-known radicals have very publicly written and stated that in order for their idea of a utopian, egalitarian society to emerge in the United States, the government must control health care, which ensures the dependency of the populace on government. Historical analysis of many countries that have gone this route demonstrates obliteration of the middle class and massive expansion of the poor, dependent class with a relatively small number of elites in control.
“This is sobering information, and those who want to fundamentally change America would much rather demonize someone who is exposing this agenda than engage in a conversation that they cannot win.” —Ben Carson, Political Correctness and the Slavery of ObamaCare
“The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to get covered by March 31, 2014 or pay a ‘shared responsibility’ tax. It’s not a mere $95, as widely thought. A household with $75,000 in income and 3 kids could be socked with a $1,750 tax for 2014.
“Yet only 10% of uninsured Americans who qualify for ObamaCare exchange plans are signing up, according to McKinsey & Company. Even with subsidies to soften sticker shock, 90% of the people these plans were intended to help are saying ‘no thanks.’
“Last week, the House of Representatives voted 250 to 160 to postpone the ‘shared responsibility’ tax for a year. Twenty-seven Democrats supported the measure. But President Obama vowed to veto it, so it will go nowhere. Instead, Obama is making changes his way – illegally – by fiat. …
“He also announced last week that people whose plans were cancelled because they didn’t conform to ObamaCare may renew those plans through October, 2016. … At the same time, the administration came out with a new set of rules exempting anyone with cancelled plans from having to get coverage at all. This exemption will inevitably be available to the uninsured as well. After all, exempting the once insured while slapping a hefty tax on the uninsured would have a political shelf life of about fifteen minutes. The end result of all this is: good bye mandate.
“The core of the Affordable Care Act — the requirement for minimal essential coverage backed up by the ‘shared responsibility’ tax — is now gone, even as the president doubles down on defending his law and pretending it will work some day.” —Betsy McCaughey, ObamaCare Is Dying
“Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.
“The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.
“The industry complaints come less than a week after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to downplay concerns about rising premiums in the healthcare sector. She told lawmakers rates would increase in 2015 but grow more slowly than in the past.
“‘The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act,’ the secretary said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee. Her comment baffled insurance officials, who said it runs counter to the industry’s consensus about next year.
“‘It’s pretty shortsighted because I think everybody knows that the way the exchange has rolled out … is going to lead to higher costs,’ said one senior insurance executive who requested anonymity. The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange.” —Elise Viebeck, ObamaCare Premiums to Skyrocket
“The left will blame the insurance companies, as always. But at the center of the current mess are Obama’s desperate and now almost weekly Democratic face-saving decrees to ‘fix’ a fundamentally broken government racket. Half of the nation’s state insurance commissioners rejected the original ‘fix’ for noncompliant plans last fall. Several still haven’t made decisions on that first ‘fix,’ let alone the new ones for 2015 or 2016. Nobody can count on any state that went along with the original ‘fix’ to sign on to the subsequent ones. And only a few have weighed in on the very latest one.
“While the White House and Hollywood propagandists push aggressively for Americans to ‘Get Covered’ and get enrolled in government-sponsored care before the March 31 open enrollment deadline, millions of us are in bureaucratic limbo trying to Get Answers about the changes, the changes to the changes, and the changes to the changes to the changes to the private plans we liked and didn’t want to leave in the first place.
“A former Obamacare policy adviser sheepishly concluded to The Washington Post this week: ‘I broadly view the administrative delays as a pragmatic realization that it is actually harder to do some of these things in reality than we thought when we put it down on paper.’ No kidding, genius. Thanks for nothing, Obamacare! —Michelle Malkin, My Family’s Misadventures with ObamaCare, Continued
“Imagine if President Obama had made this sales pitch in 2009 when he was pressing the Democratically-controlled Congress to pass ObamaCare: ‘My fellow Americans, I’m going to pass a health care law that will require millions of you to switch your health plans to a government-approved plan. For many of you, this plan will cost much more and have higher deductibles. When I finally get around to enforcing it on your employers, expect to see higher costs there as well. I’m doing this in the hopes that a small percentage of the uninsured can be coaxed into signing up. But we can’t be sure until we try, so let’s overhaul the whole system.’ …
“It is perhaps too harsh to say that nothing is really working about ObamaCare. By the standards of the federal bureaucracy, the HHS is quite efficient at drafting, and then working with the Department of Justice to enforce draconian regulations that infringe upon the most basic religious liberties of both for-profit and non-profit employers, requiring them to purchase potential abortifacients for their employees. The Obama administration can’t enforce its own deadlines and mandates, but it can put the Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby in its crosshairs with remarkable speed.” —Jay Sekulow, ObamaCare: The Impossible Enforcement of an Unworkable Law
For further enlightenment:
In Jam Over Obamacare, Dems Don’t Know Which Way To Turn, by Byron York
Obama Admits You Might Not Keep Your Doctor, by John Hayward
Videos for folks with time on their hands: